Looking for something different for your next family game night? Why not try darts? We’ll tell you some fun facts about dart games, and how you can enjoy them with your family.
History of Dart Games
Darts were probably invented in 19th century in England. The name comes from France and is for little javelin arrows which were called darts. The game further took off between 1860 and 1898 when an American patented the paper made wings.
The first tournaments were held in the early 20th century. English carpenter Brian Gamlin made the first dart board, and the rest is history. It’s still a popular pub and party game over a hundred years later!
Common Dart Games – 301 or 501
The standard games are 301 and 501. At the beginning of a dart game, every player starts with either 301 or 501 points. To win, a player needs to set his points to exactly zero. When a player throws more points than he is supposed to, his turn ends, and his score remains.
There are some special rules to start or to end dart games. Here are a few:
- Straight Out: You can arrive at the score of zero by any combination of points to finish your game.
- Double Out: You must score a double field to finish the game. (A double field refers to the outer field closest to the numbers.)
- Master Out: You must hit a triple field or at least a double field to finish the game. (a triple field is the inner ring in between the double field and bullseye.)
- Double In: At the very beginning of the game the player must hit a double field to start counting his points.
- Triple In: At the very beginning of the game the player must hit a triple field to start counting his points.
You usually start 301 with a Double In and end it with a Double Out. You can play 501 nearly the same way, but you don’t start that with a Double In.
Dart Tournaments and Festivals
When you think of darts you often envision young twentysomethings playing in the corner of a crowded bar–which isn’t the most family-friendly sounding activity. But there are some ways to bring the fun of darts to all members of your family.
Thanks to many fans, dart tournaments have become a festival for the whole family, especially those with older children. For example, dozens of dart fans don crazy costumes before the World Championships 2017 in London. People saw a huge range of people and characters, from Ali G, to Super Mario and even Santa Claus!
Those who love the pure competition might enjoy the William Hill World Darts Championship held annually at the Alexandra Palace in London in December. The next World Darts Championship will be from December 14th till the first of January 2019. But you don’t have to travel to England to watch a dart game. The American Darts Organization provides a calendar with all dart games in the U.S.
Many of us would rather be players than spectators when it comes to darts, and there are two great ways to incorporate this game into family fun.
First, kids can practice their dart-throwing skills with a balloon dart throw at a carnival.
Second, although darts can be a really dangerous game around small children, there are great magnetic darts available. That way dart aficionados can pass their love of the game down to the next generation. Just remember to share your photos of family fun on FamilyApp!